Saudi Arabia: MBS Escalates Crackdown After 5 Years at Helm

Saudi Arabia: MBS Escalates Crackdown After 5 Years at Helm

MBS Escalates Crackdown After 5 Years at Helm
MBS Escalates Crackdown After 5 Years at Helm

June 21, 2022, is the sixth anniversary of Mohammed bin Salman’s assumption of the throne in Saudi Arabia. The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights has detailed in a new report the significant changes that have occurred in Saudi Arabia since bin Salman rose to power.

According to the report, the human rights situation witnessed a significant deterioration, and unprecedented bloody numbers, in which bin Salman had the upper hand, in addition to the mandate of the Covenant. Bin Salman holds several significant political positions, including the Ministry of Defense, the presidency of the Council for Political and Security Affairs, the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, and others.

In observing the trajectory of violations, the escalation in them appears. In recent years, they have reached wider segments of society and stifled any voice that contradicts official policies or defends human rights.

Here is a list of the main violations reported during MBS’ rule over the past five years:

July 2017:

On July 11, 2017, Saudi Arabia executed 4 detainees: Amjad Al-Moaibed, Youssef Al-Mushaikhis, Zaher Al-Basri, and Mahdi Al-Sayegh.

On July 28, 2017, the Saudi government announced that the rest of Awamiya’s population, originally estimated at 35,000, must leave within four hours, as mediators conveyed official instructions and informed residents that they had to evacuate through specific exits, Carrying white flags, despite the United Nations deeming what is happening in Awamiya a forced eviction.

August 2017:

On August 26, the Saudi-led coalition admitted its responsibility for killing dozens of civilians in the bombing of the city of Sana’a in Yemen.

September 2017:

On September 9, 2017, the Saudi authorities launched a campaign of arrests targeting several clerics, academics, activists, writers, and journalists, including the well-known preacher Salman al-Awda, researcher Ali al-Omari, and researcher Hassan Farhan al-Maliki.

On September 26, 2017, the traffic rules and regulations were amended to lift the ban on women driving.

October 2017:

On October 23, 2017, after about a month and a half of arrest, Dr. Abdullah al-Awda, son of Sheikh Salman al-Awda, residing in the United States, confirmed that his brothers, including children, were prevented from traveling outside the country for unknown reasons.

November 2017:

On November 4, 2017, a campaign of legal prosecutions began for several senior Saudi state officials, the ruling family, and famous economic figures on corruption charges, led by a high anti-corruption committee headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

January 2018:

On January 4, 2018, the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh issued a 7-year prison sentence against human rights defender Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Al-Habib.

On January 21, 2018, the young Habib Al-Shuwaikhat died in prison after the Royal Court ignored a message from his family confirming that his health was deteriorating.

April 2018:

On April 6, 2018, Mohammed bin Salman announced in a media interview that they are working on reducing death sentences, explaining that new laws are being worked on.

On April 18, 2018, the Saudi government opened the country’s first cinema in the King Abdullah Financial District, in the capital, Riyadh, after an absence of more than three decades.

May 2018:

On May 17, 2018, the government launched a series of arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, including Dr. Muhammad Al-Rabiah, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Mudaimegh, and the activist Loujain Al-Hathloul, the activist Aziza Al-Yousef and the activist Iman Al-Nafjan.

June 2018:

Saudi Arabia arrested human rights defender Nouf Abdel Aziz after security forces raided her house, where she was taken to an unknown location. Days after her arrest, human rights defender Maya Al-Zahrani was arrested for publishing her friend Nouf’s article and showing her solidarity with her.

July 2018:

In late July 2018, Saudi Arabia arrested two prominent human rights defenders, Nassima Al-Sadah and Samar Badawi.

August 2018:

In August 2018, the Public Prosecution requested the death penalty against human rights defender Israa Al-Ghomgham, in a dangerous precedent in the country, as it is the first time that the Public Prosecution has requested the death penalty against an activist woman.

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